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7 Automation Tools That Will Save You Time

7 Automation Tools That Will Save You Time

Are you so busy you feel overwhelmed? Are you forever in an endless loop of tasks that don’t go away?

Of course, you are busy. You are living in a Digital Age, where you have more choices available to you than ever before.

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A to-do list is like the laundry. You keep tending to it, but it just replenishes itself, and you have to deal with your chores all over again. What if there was a way for you not to deal with your to-do list, but to let modern technology take care of your pending tasks?

There is a way, and that avenue to freedom from stress is called “automation.”

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Someone once strangely remarked their preference is not to use automation but to do activities manually. We are living in the 21st century. Isn’t that thinking just a bit archaic? Other people try to save time by resorting to following strange productivity tips.

If you’d like to pass on strange and backward thinking, try these automation tools. They cover a wide variety of activities.

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  • Alexa will automate your home. She can tell you the predicted temperature, so you know how to dress. You don’t have to stop using your hands; just ask Alexa to play a song or set an alarm. Her capabilities are currently endless and Amazon updates her functionality consistently. Cost: Approximately $200.00 with parts.
  • Google Inbox saves you time from weeding through your emails by prioritizing them for you. This way, you spend your time looking through what you consider most important. The app shows you categorizes your incoming emails for you. Your choices are trips, purchases, finance, and social, and promotions. If you get the extension, you can also save links you find in your inbox for later. Note, since this is Google’s tool, only your Gmail can be sorted using it. Cost: Free.
  • GetResponse is the amazing automation tool for small and medium-size businesses. If you have an online business, this tool of the future takes care of all your tasks. Think of it as one-stop-shopping since it completes your many tasks for you easily and beautifully. The GetResponse Automation Tool helps you in many ways.  First, you can build your email list since GetResponse will store the emails you currently have. Also, the tool will help you grow your subscriber list. You can use one of GetResponse’s over 500 beautiful pre-made templates, or you can design your own. Last, GetResponse will send your emails and details about conferences such as webinars. It will even organize your webinars for you. Your business will be far more lucrative as a result of GetResponses’s ability to split test and segment your clients. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, GetResponse and the tool’s 24/7 support staff will quickly and effectively help you with your digital marketing needs. Cost: Free 30-day trial. Basic plans start at $15.00 per month.
  • IFTTT (If This, Then That) is based on a cause and effect principle. You connect the causes and the effects you want to happen. For example, if it is going to rain the next day, IFTTT will let you know, so you can dress appropriately and bring an umbrella. Cost: Free.
  • Social media schedulers exist so you can schedule your posts at your convenience. If your friends and relatives are in a different time zone, and you want your posts to appear on Facebook when they are awake and you are asleep, no problem. Schedulers like Buffer and Hootsuite will schedule your social media posts for you, and even pick optimal times when your connections are most likely to see them. Cost: Hootsuite is free; Buffer is free for up to 10 posts in your queue at a time.
  • Tweet Jukebox will then take your social media posts and recycle them, so you only have to type them once, and your message can be replayed, hence the name Tweet Jukebox. Cost: Tweet Jukebox is free.
  • Pinterest schedulers exist so you can reshare your Pinterest pins as often as you want. These scheduling tools are also set for optimal times, or you can manually select the times and the boards you want to pin to. Cost: The price varies depending on the scheduler. For example, Ahalogy and ViralWoot are free; Tailwind starts at $5.00.

Are You Ready to Pick Up More Time in Your Day?

You can turbo charge your life by automating your daily activities with these tools for automation. Why take extra time to do activities when these seven tools will save you time? What will you do with the time you gain?

Featured photo credit: Janice Wald via mostlyblogging.com

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Janice Wald

Teacher, Author, Blogger, Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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